proper funding for cycling, with a high and rising share of the transport budget committed to cycling nationally, and locally
If cycling is to reach 10% of all trips then there needs be serious investment. We ask the Scottish government to join Edinburgh City Council and commit 5% of transport revenue and capital budgets to cycling. Further, local authorities should also commit a share of their transport revenue and capital budgets to cycling at least in proportion with the percentage of people cycling to work or school in their area until in total, spending on cycling from all sources reaches a target of £25 per head per year.
To put this into perspective, 5% of the £2bn annual Scottish transport budget equates roughly to £100m, or £20 per head, which is comparable to the £1.32bn over 11 years that the Low Carbon Scotland report proposed spending on active travel (including walking). At the moment in Scotland actual spending is nearer £2-£3 per head. In contrast, in 2010, the Netherlands spent €30 per head (around £25) on installing and upgrading its cycling infrastructure which is already streets ahead of anything found here. Cycling England’s 2005-2011 Cycling City and Towns project invested around £10 per head and achieved significant growth in everyday cycle use, saving around £2.5 for every £1 spent, principally in reduced congestion. Other studies have shown that money invested on cycling and walking networks can pay back up to four to five times the amount spent, a better rate of return than any other transport investment. If cycling levels rise to 13%, the benefit to Scotland would be between £1-2bn.
The financial benefits of cycling are so often overlooked by those 'in charge', and certainly spending money to save seems counter-intuitive to many, despite the fact that in relative terms of the total transport budget we are talking small outlay figures, without recouped amounts coming quickly. But instead the money set aside for active transport is all too often seen as a pot that can be raided for other causes - quite often road building that then completely ignores the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.
design cycling into all of Scotland’s roads and junctions, with improved and strengthened national design guidelines in line with best practice internationally
Improved provision for cycling must include a commitment to transforming Scotland’s roads and junctions. The existing design guidelines, Cycling by Design, should be revised in line with best practice internationally – particularly drawing on the experience of the Netherlands where 25% of trips are by bike. These standards should be incorporated into the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and local authority road design guidance and should form minimum national standards for any new road or any road being substantially maintained or upgraded, whether local or trunk road. In addition, the Scottish Government should investigate whether it is possible for these standards to be made binding on roads authorities. Each local authority should commit to creating a dense network of direct and dedicated cycling routes with separation from traffic where needed, particularly on busy roads. Cycling infrastructure should be suitable for cyclists of all kinds, whether fast commuters or children on their way to school. Importantly, it should not bring cyclists into conflict with either pedestrians or heavy traffic. Such designs don’t just benefit cyclists, they benefit everyone who uses the roads.
Common sense no? And how much effort would it take? Roads and junctions are being worked on all the time - roundabouts are replaced, pavements altered, light sequences changed. If you consider cyclists from the very outset then there's no need for any change in the future, and you immediately make cycling look more attractive. We're not talking Copenhagen 'green wave' here (though that would be lovely) but rather simple provision which would, as it says above, simply remove conflict. Everyone moves more quickly and easily when you do that. Instead you get situations such as the replacement of one roundabout near me that was converted to traffic lights - part of the reason being to make it safer for cyclists. But one road off it was deemed unsuitable for bikes, so instead of redesigning, or providing a separate lane on a VERY wide road, the ASLs around the crossroads were simply not offered to make it possible to use them to go down that road - a deliberate (I checked, it was deliberate) attempt to put cyclists off using that particular road, with no suitable alternative offered.
safer speeds where people live, work and play.
There are significant road safety benefits to a 20 mph speed limit. In residential areas, the presumption should be that roads authorities should apply 20mph speed limits as the norm in these areas. Lower speed limits should also be considered for unclassified rural roads where all road traffic faces a completely unacceptable risk of accident.
Simple physics. Lower speeds = shorter stopping distances and lower impact speeds.